03 Feb 2017
On 1-3 February, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Chef de Mission Seminar for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 gathered for three days at PyeongChang’s Alpensia Convention Centre.
The PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) welcomed 135 delegates from 75 NOCs, who were treated to presentations on Games-time operations and services. The delegates were also given a tour of the Olympic competition and non-competition venues in both the coastal and mountain cluster areas.
Day one covered the ice sport venues of Gangneung, while on the second day they moved onto the snow sport venues around PyeongChang, as well as the non-competition venues which include the Olympic Village, and Opening and Closing Ceremony venue - the Olympic Plaza. The final day saw them travel to Jeongseon and Bokwang where the Alpine skiing speed events and freestyle skiing and snowboard will take place.
It was clear to everyone present that the athletes are at the very centre of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.Gunilla Lindberg IOC Coordination Commission Chair
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg commented, “We have had three very productive days of meetings with the Chef de Missions in PyeongChang. The Chefs were very impressed by the venues and the development of the Olympic Villages. It was clear to everyone present that the athletes are at the very centre of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.” She continued, “We were also reassured that the high speed rail link will be completed by June, when testing will begin. POCOG will now take away the feedback from the Chefs and use it to refine and improve their operational planning.”
POCOG President Mr Hee-beom Lee described the Chefs de Mission Seminar as an opportunity to give NOCs all the important information and updates needed for their preparations for the PyeongChang 2018 Games.
“As athletes are the heart of the Games, it is also essential for us to listen and learn from your expertise and experiences to move forward in our final planning for operational readiness. We will do our best to deliver a most memorable and athlete-centered Games for all NOC delegations and the entire Olympic Family.”
The Games are really starting to take shape and I have been very impressed by what I have seen here so far.Alan Ashley Team USA Chef de Mission
"It is great to be in PyeongChang with just a little over a year to go until Games-time,” added Team USA Chef de Mission Alan Ashley. “These few days are really invaluable for our planning, to see the venues as they near completion and to hear more from the organising committee on the final planning phase. The Games are really starting to take shape and I have been very impressed by what I have seen here so far. Our athletes and staff are all excited and looking forward to being here in 2018."
Japan Olympic Committee executive board member Toshimasa Furukawa said, “We were able to confirm the readiness of PyeongChang 2018 through the presentations by the Organising Committee and the venue tour. PyeongChang has wonderful snow which is necessary for the Olympic Winter Games and it is sure to be a splendid Games. As a host country for the Sapporo Asian Winter Games and PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022 waiting in line, we would like to set the winter sports alight, create excitement and spread and promote the Olympic movement together.”
Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay said, “The final Chef de Mission seminar has provided us with an invaluable update across a range of areas including logistics, transport, venues and villages and we have been pleased with the progress we have seen. We were particularly impressed by compactness of the two clusters and the proximity of the competition venues to the Olympic Villages. With over 95% of competition venues now complete we are confident of infrastructure the Organising Committee has in place to host an excellent Games. The Games will be biggest ever Olympic Winter Games with 102 events and over 100 nations competing and we are confident the Republic of Korea and PyeongChang are ready to put on a great show for our Team GB athletes.”With Gangneung celebrating the one year to go celebrations next week, and ticket sales being launched to coincide with this marquee event, the support and attendance of the Chefs de Mission represented another important milestone as the Games begin to come to life and the preparations for officials and athletes enter their final phase.